MGA Study Hall: Issue #27

By | May 29th, 2013
Posted in Annotations | 66 Comments

Hello and welcome back to Morning Glory Academy Study Hall, where all things Morning Glories are analyzed, dissected and poured over with the hope that we can figure out just what is going on!

Today’s issue is issue #27, the big Season Two Premiere issue of “Morning Glories,” double-sized and full of everything you could ever want. I hope.

Join me as I discuss the issue, its story and the possible hidden secrets that we may or may not be picking up on. I should note: this column contains massive spoilers for the issue. Enormous. Colossal, even. The issue is out today, so make sure to read it first before you read our thoughts. It helps to give the issue a few read throughs before coming to us, but consider this your warning about impending spoilers.

As always, our very lovely/supremely awesome column header was designed by the graphic designer for the actual book, Tim Daniel! For more of Tim’s work, please visit his site Hidden Robot and be on the lookout for Tim’s comic debut, Enormous, now in stores and serializing here on MC! Many thanks to Tim for being fantastically awesome and providing it to us.

One more thing before we begin, as I’d like to continue to throw out this short plug:

Every night that a new Morning Glories issue comes out, fans of the book go on TinyChat to discuss it with one another and try and figure out if they can draw meaning from the insanity, not just to the same extent that Crit and I do, but times twenty. So if you’re in the mood for chatting instead of just reading theories followed by musing on them in a comment section, you can join the chat and throw out ideas to a live group of people who are just as excited to talk about the book as you are. I have nothing to do with its creation, but I usually quietly lurk with a goofy username, and both Nick and Joe are known to pop in and offer up teases for things while dodging questions (what, you didn’t think they’d actually answer anything, did you?). It’s a fun time. If you enjoy reading this column, you just might enjoy the TinyChat.

For more details, click the image above. As for myself, I’ve got theorizing to do. Let’s kick it off.

News Bit #1: A Quick PSA

Issue 26's misprinted page

With issue #26, as seen in the “Best you say your goodbyes…” section in last month’s annotations , you may have noticed the return of a page from issue #25 that I tried to explain the purpose of. What you may not have noticed (depending on when you read it) is the retraction that came later in the evening when Nick noted that this was a printing error and that a different page was supposed to go there (seen above).

While I retroactively posted the missing page in the last MGA Study Hall and above for the convenience of anyone who bought the issue with the error, I will note that since then the issue has been reprinted with the correct page. It’s still just $1 and if you missed the part where that was reprinted, there is maybe still time to run to your local shop and grab it. Then you can sell the printing error issue on eBay for loads of money to hardcore collectors without having a gap in your run.

News Bit #2: Covering Season Two

Over on his blog, Nick Spencer has been showing off some of the amazing contributions he has been getting for variant covers to “Morning Glories” Season Two, as the next issue continues the variant party Today, before we go any further, we’re going to show off all of these covers for those of you who may not have seen them yet.

In order to save some space on my bandwidth, I’m going to hotlink these from Tumblr. So if they don’t work, it’s because Tumblr is down. Again.

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Scott Forbes (Diamond Order Code APR130559)

Mehdi Cheggour (Diamond Order Code APR130557)

Charles Paul Wilson III (Diamond Order Code APR130563)

Frazer Irving (Diamond Order Code APR130560)

Riley Rossmo (Diamond Order Code APR130562)

Joe Eisma (Diamond Order Code APR130558)

Tradd Moore (Diamond Order Code APR130561)

That Joe cover, I’d like to point out, is a reference to “Walking Dead” #33, and is colored by Tim Daniel, and Tradd’s cover is colored by series colorist Alex Solazzo. Frazer’s cover is done in the style of “Bedlam,” a book also written by Nick Spencer to which Frazer is the mainstay cover artist (like Rodin is to “Morning Glories”), and seems to be similar in style the most to the second issue.

News Bit #3: The Coloring and the Cover

As you may have noticed, this issue has some different coloring as Alex Solazzo, the regular “Morning Glories” colorist, did not do the full issue. The issue was also colored by Mike Spicer and Paul Little, who is also working on Joe for his upcoming mini-series “Art Monster.” As I understand it, Paul will also be coloring the rest of this arc.

Additionally, while I went through all the issue #27 variants last time, I’ll note that there is no Rodin cover for issue #27, as the beginning of Season Two is officially his “break.” Joe’s Cast cover is therefore the “Regular” Season Two Variant (should we still call it a variant?), which is why there is no Rodin to be seen in today’s column.

However, if you’re looking for some Rodin in your life, “Mind the Gap” #10 is out today (to which we also have an annotation column available, which is the big second arc finale and features some tasty reveals.

News Bit #4: In Regards To Those Of You Who Have Read “Morning Glories” #27’s Backmatter

I wasn’t going to say anything. But, well, honestly? How can I not! I just wanted to chime in quickly and say, for first time viewers: Hello! I wrote that. Hopefully you enjoyed that and, unless something horrible happens to me in between now and the random future, expect to always see those. Please enjoy and join the discussion that is sure to follow in the comment section of the article.

To those of you who have always been here: Hello! I hope those of you wanted a print version of Study Hall are happy with that.

To those of you who skipped the backmatter: Aw. Come on.

Here’s something important for all of you to take into consideration, though. The backmatter is Notes from Study Hall, and this is Study Hall “Prime.” Notes is an abbreviated version of this column, and is therefore shorter, designed to fit within the book and focus on bigger questions as opposed to the little mysteries. Things that made it into the book may get re-written here to expand upon thoughts or add in things I later realized, but I hope you find both instances of Study Hall useful to you in your quest to decipher the mystery of “Morning Glories.”

Also, this backmatter is (as far as I understand it) exclusive to the single issues. If you want this stuff, you’ve gotta get the single issues either in print or in digital. People have often asked if there were ever plans to have a print version of Study Hall and the answer has always been no — until now. This is it. Get it! Support the book you love!

And now? The main event.

Now: The Age Problem

This issue picks up where #20 and #25 left off, as Casey arrives back at school in the “Now” timeline. However, as you can also see (and saw in issue #25), Casey is not the age of her future-self Clarkson; she’s back to that of a regular sixteen-year-old.

The big question on everybody’s mind is: how? There’s no particular easy answer, I’m afraid. We know that Casey was up to all sorts of shenanigans after she left the school, whether it be world-traveling spy espionage stuff or simple teaching, but at some point in between when Casey (original timeline) goes to school and now, Casey (Clarkson timeline) travels back and reduces her age back to the who she was before she left. We know this because Casey as we see here now seems to have the knowledge that Clarkson had as well, which is revealed more throughout the issue (and a bit of dialogue we’ll touch on), so it’s a reasonable guess that this is the same girl later in her life but still somehow younger.

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There’s all sorts of wild and fun ways we can speculate on this, though. It’s possible that whatever method Casey used to get back simply placed her future conscious in her younger body. Think of when Lara broke her time loop: we met Lara in issue #12 in a scene we’d later see as “the past” in #16, even if at the time we thought it was the present. However, Lara had the ability to go back into the past and travel forward into the future from the same location point in two different ways. (That is, assuming Lara traveling in issue #12 was not just a red herring.) Whose to say that there wasn’t some point in Casey’s timeline that allowed her to do something similar, to travel sideways through time in a manner of speaking, to the extent that she was able to re-inhabit her younger body?

Besides, there’s also What Hunter Did to take into consideration. But we’ll get to that.

One Year Ago: The Trouble with Timelines

Last issue, we saw that after going back in time, Casey became Miss Clarkson, her high school teacher. We also saw that in between when she left in issue #16 and returned in issue #26, she’d aged. Her appearance in issue #25 therefore seemed somewhat confusing, because it showed her at her “regular” age, 16 years old and fresh faced for the Academy.

However, with this issue, we see that the events of issue #26 are not so much that of a divergent timeline but rather the explanation of backstory. Everything we saw up to now is basically a smaller piece of a grander puzzle, and while we knew that the students ending up at the school were machinations of manipulations, we now are getting a clearer eye of how circular it all is: Casey is at Morning Glory Academy because Casey sent herself there.

Of course, it’s a bit more complicated than that, because Casey sent Casey to MGA because Hodge sent Casey to send Casey to MGA, and Casey only sent Casey to MGA because Casey manipulated Casey’s mother to send Casey to MGA. But you see how this is working, right? And as Hodge reasons at the end of the issue, it all has to be done For A Better Future. But we’ll get there.

For the sake of clarity, though, it may help you to also know that this issue not only picks up where issue #25 left us, but also where issue #20 left sisters Lara and Georgina, following Georgina’s lashings at the hands of the Headmaster when she lost all the students way back in issue #13. That’s where the “Now” timeline syncs up into all this.

One Year Ago: The Hour of Our Release Draws Near

A familiar phrase to readers of the book, Casey finds this written on a paperweight in Clarkson’s office. As Clarkson says, the phrase “the hour of our release draws near” is from a book she read a long time ago, about a girl locked up in a prison during the Inquisition, a prison where the inmates are all tortured but end up worshiping their captors. When the girl escapes, she begins to suspect she may have built the prison herself, and it’s right about now that you should probably be remembering the opening to issue #3 that featured a girl in a prison during the Inquisition, and that Casey/Clarkson’s description of the book is very descriptive towards Morning Glory Academy.

And, hey, way back in issue #4, didn’t Casey mention that she first heard that phrase in a book she read when Ike questions her about it? (I’m being coy; she totally did.)

It certainly helps that the manuscript by an unknown author was found in the basement of a monastery, which is what Morning Glory Academy was before it was a school, doesn’t it?

One Year Ago: Fun with Names

In this issue, we meet Tom Reed, Casey/Clarkson’s future (past?) lover. I feel it is important to point out how much water imagery there often is in the book (issue #2, issue #22), Casey’s association with said water imagery, and how Casey is now dating a man whose last name is a plant that primarily grows in water in a book named after a plant.

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No such thing as coincidence, right?

If we get into religious etymology, we end up in a complete rabbit hole of ideas, by the way. Thomas is derived from the Aramaic use of the word in the Greek Bible meaning “Twin,” with the first known instance of it being Judas Thomas, the second Judas of Christ’s Twelve Apostles. Thomas the Apostle is best known for questioning Jesus’ resurrection and then confessing his faith upon Jesus’ rise from the grave, eventually traveling and preaching before being murdered later in life.

The idea of Casey getting her own form of Apostles doesn’t feel too far off, but for my money the more relevant aspect about Tom Reed’s name is the “Reed” aspect. That and his closeness to actually being named Tom Riddle.

Now: “It’s Never Too Late”

As we see, “whatever it is” that Hunter did back in issue #25 essentially fixed the timeline malfunction that caused the Glories, Truants and other students to be thrown into the future while the rest of the Faculty stayed in the past, or what we are generally referring to as the “Now.” That’s important to understand: not only is Casey back, but so is everyone, Truants and all. The white flashes that we saw in the last issue, traditionally related to time travel in this book overall, were related to the timeline readjusting itself to the “present” for everyone but Hunter and Future Jade — which we will get to and explain later.

Also, now you know how the kids are going to go back to class! And you thought they’d be at recess forever.

Other things that are interesting about this scene are Hodge’s “Get Out Of Jail Free” reference (assumedly in regards to the Headmaster no longer being cross with Daramount since the kids are back) and Daramount’s reaction to the children as her “darlings.” As you can see on the page, it is clear that some of the students are happy to be back at the regular Academy as opposed to the downtrodden future iteration. Whether this is a sign of Stockholm Syndrome or actually a reflection that the school has positive aspects to it is still up in the air, but the thing to take away here is that Daramount does on some level care for her students. You wouldn’t know it based on how she treats some of the Glories and sure, a lot of general school policies are kinda weird/brutal, but the general assumption that the school is all around bad seems to be something that the book is making an active habit of shaking.

Then again, would you honestly want to enroll there? I don’t think I would.

I also find it interesting that Daramount says “What in the Devil…” when describing Casey’s return, due to the same religious overtones the book has that caused me to explain where the name Thomas comes from.

I also understand that the student Daramount touches when she says “My darlings!” is actually Nixon Saget II aka @Upguntha, a large proponent of “Morning Glories” and avid theorist.

Now: Et Tu, Fortunato?

The subject of many fans distrust, Fortunato is a mysterious character in that we haven’t gotten to spend a lot of time with him — and the moments that we have spent with him have perhaps been shady, due primarily to his strong connection to Irina.

Here, when the Truants are “captured” (I get the feeling they weren’t so much captured and more that they “gave themselves up”), Daramount looks upon them and remarks, “Even you, Fortunato? How disappointing.” So, I guess there’s even less reason to trust him now.

Whose side is he on? Or is he perhaps the ultimate secret mega villain, playing all sides against the middle for world domination?!

Now: Who Shot First? (Part One of Three)

It was Han. Wait, what are we talking about? Oh, right.

Last time we saw Abraham, Ike and Irina, there was much speculation about who shot what gun when we got the mysterious BLAM! of the page. As it turns out, Jade — who was notably missing from that scene, as I’m sure we all recognized — is the one to have fired the same pistol that Ike previously had to her head, and she fired it at Irina’s head. Turns out Jade is a bit of a marksman, and more of a bad ass than we give her credit for. If there was ever a good spokesperson about standing up to bullies, it’s Jade right now. (Uh, minus the gun bit… don’t do that.)

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As the scene progresses though, we learn a few somewhat crucial bits of information.

First, Irina mentions that she’s happy to let Jade die for Ike’s sins. When you put aside her exact phrasing (“die for his sins,” assuredly a biblical reference relating to Christ), the question becomes — what are Ike’s sins? We’ve known Ike for a while now and gotten to spend some time with his former self; he’s a misguided kid, a brat and a bit of a playboy douche, but honestly, he’s still likable in his own way; he’s our sociopathic asshole. We like Ike! He hasn’t done anything up to now to truly deserve dying for, except maybe the murder of his father — but apparently that hasn’t even happened yet (see: issue #25’s headache inducing reveal). Ike seems to want to kill him for something he hasn’t done, which would I believe put a big ol’ mark in the “Ike for Headmaster” column.

She also says that Jade would let her kill Ike if she knew “who he really was,” so that’s another ostensible hint right there. Sorry, Hunter For Headmaster Fans.

We’ll come back to this.

The Other Now: Jade/Nick and Hunter/The Fans

I’m honestly never not amused when Nick chooses to get a bit meta in the script. We’ve seen it before loads of times, but occasionally Nick will throw in moments in which the characters of the story essentially represent us, the readership. In the first instance of the Other Now (which is the best way I can think of to reference the current future sequences), we have Hunter presenting ideas and theories to Jade, who seems to know more than she’s letting on and who smiles knowingly at Hunter as he throws out his ideas.

“If you refuse to tell me anything, I have a right to guess!” Exactly.

What’s interesting, though, is what Nick essentially chooses to say “no” to. Earlier in this Study Hall, I offered up the theory that Casey sent Casey to MGA before traveling back to MGA, essentially creating (as Hunter states) a paradox: we know that this needs to happen, so it unfolds as we see it, minus a few details. So as Hunter rightfully points out, since he was told he built the stage (and, to many people’s general assumption, the school overall since he’s actually the Headmaster and Benjamin Gerhardt, didn’t you know?), that means that he at some point has to go and do this.

But Jade points out no, not quite. We know that time travel is a bit off in this book, not exactly holding to “regular standards” as we seem to understand it and rather existing as this wibbly-wobbly, time-wimey … stuff/mishmash of Primer, Back to the Future and 12 Monkeys. So while Hunter has to “in theory” build the stage and perhaps more, it doesn’t necessarily have to be Hunter as we know him to the same end that Lara wasn’t stuck in a loop because of what we learned from issues #12 and #16. There is a breaking point, something we don’t know or understand, in which what we assume is a straight line isn’t really a straight line at all, and it makes guessing about the timeline of the overall structure of the book rather difficult.

Hunter also throws in a reference to Futurama, one of the best shows of all time ever of all time. In this instance, Hunter is essentially referring to himself as Fry, who accidentally travels to the future after getting stuck in a cryo-tube in 1999, arriving in 2999 relatively clueless. Although, to be fair, Fry’s cluelessness is due to missing a Delta Brainwave as a result of his doing the nasty in the pasty (sleeping with his own grandmother), which opens up further discuss of time travel that we are not going to have in this column. It’s more understandable than “Morning Glories'” is, though, that’s for sure.

What I was trying to get to was: Hunter wants answers. And we will get to that.

One Year Ago: Meet the Parents

There’s not too much to talk about with this scene, I don’t think, other than Casey is nervous about seeing her parents here. There’s a nice line of dialogue from Tom here in which he refers to “soccer dads and absentee moms,” which is a play on classic storytelling tropes of the exact opposite. I don’t think there’s any particular thing to take away from that other than Tom being cute for Clarkson, but it’s a nice moment towards developing their relationship and giving his character some importance.

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We also have an explanation of Clarkson’s work life, which apparently means balancing school and going off on mysterious consultancy gigs (i.e. all those cool spy/action shots we got in the sequence from last issue). This is apparently something people around her notice, specifically the only person ostensibly close to her, so it’s not like Casey is just hanging out as a teacher now. She’s still got stuff going on, which makes sense with the earlier idea of trying to rationalize how she wound up back in the past.

Also, notice that Clarkson spills a glass of water. That water imagery, man… it is all over Casey.

Also also, notice that Clarkson addresses Mrs. Blevins first. Casey is known to have a better relationship with her father, but as we’ll see later in this issue, it’s her mother that she really needs to take the time to reach out to.

Also also also, apparently Tom is a History teacher. Jade “killed herself” in a History class once. Not trying to imply anything there, just pointing out a connection in case you’re looking for one. I like his reference to people not particularly noticing history, though, since that’s all we do in MGA Study Hall.

And Clarkson’s first name is Danielle. Danielle is the French variant of Daniel, which means “God is my judge.” Really bringing that religious subtext to the forefront with Danielle Clarkson and Thomas Reed, aren’t we?

Now: Who Saw What? (Part Two of Three)

So, back to this scene. We’ve been wondering what Irina’s motivations are and I’d say they’re still unclear. We know that the school fears her; this was established by the dialogue in issue #2 where Daramount doesn’t even want to hear her name anymore. We know that she’s not fully honest with the Truants; this was established in #24-25, among other places. We even know that Abraham fears her; this is essentially established now.

But, in a book that is full of misdirection, you have to take some of what she says with a certain sense of value. We’ve believed (well, you have, maybe; I’m very mistrusting) that Abraham is the “good guy” of this situation because he’s part of what we’ve likened to Morning Glory Academy’s rival school, but here Irina professes that she is done with Abraham’s “lies”. She even goes so far as to accuse Abraham of sending kids to the school to die. In fact, she believes that she and all the others aren’t even supposed to be there at the school, and even though some of the kids seemed happy to be back earlier in the issue, you can’t really blame her for believing so with all the dead parents, torture and murder.

Now, we haven’t seen Abraham lie openly in the past, but clearly this isn’t just personal. She’s out for blood and she’s even on a vendetta I’d say, but I don’t get the feeling she’s doing it specifically to spite Abraham; doing it in spite of Abraham, sure, but that’s about it. And if we’re under the assumption that Ike grows up to be the Headmaster, or some variation of him, Abraham is pleading for Ike’s life here and, if my reading of the scene is correct (which, for all intents and purposes, it isn’t), he is ostensibly saying “Yeah, maybe you can go back and kill the Headmaster (Ike), but not like this.” Irina, you’re doing it wrong.

That said, doesn’t it feel a bit … easy for Ike to be the Headmaster? Look, I don’t mean to knock myself down or anything and I’ll happily pretend that I figured that one out, but this book excels at mysteries we don’t figure out, the type of stuff where when we learn the truth, the rug is pulled out from us. It’s very much like “A Song of Ice and Fire” in that way. I’ll be proud if Ike is Headmaster, but all of Irina’s comments — “I know who this is. I know you your son really is.” — doesn’t have to mean that Ike is the Headmaster. Ike could honestly be something even worse.

However, as is important to note, Abraham says “even if you think you saw is true–“. Maybe Irina saw Ike as the Headmaster. Maybe Irina saw Ike as something else. But seeing is not always believing; back in issue #17, we thought we saw Miss Daramount at Abraham’s compound, and that wasn’t strictly true, now was it? Whoever — whatever — Irina saw in that greenhouse, it doesn’t necessarily have to be Ike. Not strictly speaking.

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Now: Mind Games (Part Three of Three)

As the scene reaches its climax, guards arrive outside and Jade calls to them to hopefully incriminate Irina in the death of Mister Gribbs. The thought here is probably that, hey, if I alert these guards to the evil that lurks behind the door, maybe I can get out of the trouble that I appear to be in.

As you see, it doesn’t go so well.

So, ask yourself this. Did Irina trick the guards into thinking she was the girl who shouted through the door, or did she use the same kind of mind powers we’ve seen Casey and Lara to have? Because, if you ask me, I’d wager the latter; Irina is Public Enemy #1 on campus, and Daramount actively seems to fear her. She has killed security staff before, and has been doing so while living in the campus jungle for two years. How they don’t recognize her and immediately say, “Hey, isn’t that that crazy forest chick?” only has one logical explanation.

Plus, she says “You serve me now,” and uses the soldiers to cart off Jade, Abraham and Ike. It’s not exactly subtle: she’s using her evil powers to do it.

Irina can float. Irina can project herself onto televisions she isn’t even remotely near. Irina can make you think what she wants you to think. Irina is so much more dangerous than we give her credit for, and when we first saw her she had just saw a lead character through the chest.

As an aside, it seems like Irina is leading Abraham to a confrontation. I know #28 is another big double-sized issue celebrating the premiere of Season Two. Perhaps there’s a big Irina/Abraham/Daramount/student body confrontation about to go down next issue?

The Other Now: What Hunter Did

At the end of issue #25, it was a big mystery what Hunter’s actions in the future actually did. By now it should be a bit more clear: he reset time. As we saw during the events of the third and fourth arc, time had become disoriented due to the actions of the Truants. By standing on his stage, Hunter managed to return everyone back to their appropriate time – Glories, Truants and all. And as such, everyone was aligned to where they were trying to go, which is how Irina got to Abraham and Casey came back.

Of course, what Hunter did is only a small piece of a much grander scheme, and future Jade likens this to a chess game where one player is making up the rules. We’ve seen a chess motif in the book before, particularly in the last issue where Casey is playing chess with an unknown person of interest, but chess is relatively simple at its core: two players, one light, one dark, both in all out war to destroy the king of each other’s castle. There are rules, different types of pieces and only one inherent outcome: total victory through the death of the opponent’s leaders.

What Jade is saying that the current situation is similar to this, but while both sides are still inherently playing chess one side has manipulated the game to the extent that they’re operating on an uneven/different playing field, which seems to be a reference to Irina. We’re under the assumption that everything is fair, that Abraham’s mentioning of rules in issue #24 somehow matters to the overall scheme, but Irina’s unpredictable actions in this issue seem to line up with what Future Jade is talking about with her mentions of “war, destruction, death”, especially with that last scene and all of the last arc, all of which results in the future destruction of the Academy, which now seems inevitable.

So in other words, what Jade is saying here is that what Hunter did is reset the game, but it’s ultimately Casey’s job to fix it, stop Irina and, in turn, saving the school. Notice that Jade doesn’t say that Casey can stop it, though; just set things right. How Casey will do this is a mystery, as the two of not even met at this point. But Casey seems to have some idea of what it is she’s doing, as we see in the final scene.

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The part in which Hunter reacts to the destruction of the school with sorrow is also interesting. Again, the school has always been the enemy, but as Jade says, “little different now, isn’t it?”

One Year Ago: Mothers and Daughters

As I made reference to earlier, Casey as Clarkson takes specific interest in talking to her mother, who is hesitant to allow Casey to attend Morning Glory Academy. Clarkson makes reference to Casey having places she needs to go, but Kathy Blevins in turn goes off with a speech that it’s not about who Casey is supposed to be, but it’s about who Casey wants to be. Suddenly Casey is hearing directly from her mother all these things she probably wanted to always hear her mother say but never fully understood (as it has been noted as far back as the first issue that her mother was always hesitant about the school), and she can’t help but cry.

Yet, when it comes down to it, she still manipulates her mother into allowing her to go to the Academy. Which is a big ol’ can of moral and ethical worms right there.

Lara appears and remarks about Casey’s manipulation of her own mother, and rightfully so. See, here’s the thing: a long, long time ago I had some theory that Casey would grow up to be Daramount-esque in terms of being a manipulator of those around her, and while I’ve softened on Daramount (to the point that I consider her misunderstood instead of Maleficent) it’s never the less true: Casey, the heroine of our story, is not a very good person. Not by objective terms, anyway; more to the same level that we like Ike (he’s our sociopathic asshole). Casey essentially takes the easy path, not the path which is hard or earned, and that’s basically the story of every villain ever. Suddenly she seems less like the girl who is “most likely to save the world” and more like the girl who is “most likely to ruin it.”

I don’t have all faith lost in Casey, mind you. I still see her as the hero. But for all her past manipulations, this is perhaps one of the darkest. Even if she needs to go to the school, we now know exactly how she ended up there and it’s kind of a sad reality.

But we’re just getting started with Lara and Casey.

Now: You Did This To Yourself

I have long held the belief that Lara, despite being this sort of beacon of hope for the students, is perhaps not to be trusted. My belief was in turn justified with issue #20, when she bashed Vanessa over the head with a rock. Lara is shifty, Lara is just as manipulative as anyone else and while we can’t see the wood for the trees quite yet, there’s something about Lara.

So as she arrives both in the past and present to confront two very different iterations of Casey, we get two halves of the Lara coin. On the one hand, the past hand, Lara seems to be condescending to Casey, but in the present, Lara almost seems subservient of Casey. Lara has been manipulating Casey, yes, and Casey confirms all of this by noting the bag and the instructions she was given, but Lara makes a point of saying “we don’t do anything to you, this was your choice,” which is seemingly a reference to Lara approaching Casey in issue #12 and, for lack of better terminology and to put it in terms “Glories” fans can probably recognize the meaning of instantly, “so we created our own Gods.”

What I’m saying is: maybe Lara is really manipulating Casey because Casey has been manipulating Lara in some unseen way. It doesn’t seem entirely unfeasible for that to be true in some form or fashion, given the presence of Future Jade as a central character of the story (which has its own importance to this sequence, which we’ll get to in a second).

There are plenty of other things to take away from the scene, though. Casey makes reference to it being “a long time since I was one of your students,” to which Lara responds “appearances to the contrary,” bringing us back to the point of how Casey is young again. I’ve offered a few potential ideas in this column alone, none of which I assume are right — part of what Hunter did, Casey’s actions upon herself, etc — but I think it’s fair to say that even if she is in the body of a sixteen year old, Casey has the mind of someone much older than that by now. How old Casey was when she traveled back to this point is certainly a good question, but it seems fair to say that it was really only her mind, not her body.

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And, for better or for worse, Casey doesn’t understand any of it yet. This may all be basic machinations of something Casey wanted, but she doesn’t know why she wants it which infers a bigger, even more manipulative hand behind everything.

Now: That Final Page

If you think that final page image looks familiar, that’s specifically because it should: that’s a mirror of the cover to issue #6 by Rodin Esquejo, which revealed to us Future Jade. The Jade/Casey friendship has always been a tight one, with the two of them becoming relatively close over the course of the series, but what this particular image reference mean is unknown at this time – specifically because as of right now, we don’t know what has happened to anyone except for Jade in the future. But I’m sure that’s coming.

Should be interesting to see what is coming in the next issue, though. More Cylinder? More Hunter getting “answers”? Irina vs. Daramount? Stuff is about to get real.

Nowhere In Time: Notes From Study Hall

I don’t need to annotate annotations, do I?

The Past: Morning Glory Babies

D’awwww. That’s adorable, isn’t it?

I’ll come clean: there are tons of little jokes and easter eggs and whatnot in that four-page sequence. However, I’m not going to tell you any of it here! Why would I? I wrote it; that would be like Nick writing MGA Study Hall!

So somebody else can figure it all out, point out all the jokes and references and easter egg things about it and I dunno, maybe I’ll give away a prize or something. I don’t know what, but if someone can properly annotate it, then they deserve something from me. Good luck!

If you’d like to see more of Andrea’s work, you can check out her DeviantArt page and also her tumblr. She also illustrated Back Issues here for a bit.

I’ve been led to understand that the Morning Glories Wikipedia has been developed, just in time for the start of Season Two, featuring copious notes and whatnot. While I’ve not written anything particular for it, I’ve contributed a few pieces here and there, and some of the notes are sourced for this very column in a cleaner database friendly fashion. Should be good for every time we get a name and are wondering if it has been mentioned before. (I particularly like this entry, myself.)

In case you missed, all of the audio commentary for “Morning Glories'” fourth arc, ‘Truants,’ is now live. You can stream them all in one post on MC right here, on Podomatic and on iTunes. For those unaware of its purpose, it’s a podcast that I do with Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma in which we discuss each individual at length, offering up commentary tracks to go alongside your reads. It’s pretty much the tops.

If you’d like to contact contact myself directly with thoughts or comments, shoot me an e-mail at the very specific

See you in the backmatter!!

Previous Issues: #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19,#20, #21, #22, #23, #24, #25, #26

Previous audio podcasts: second arc interviews#7#8#9#10#11#12second arc wrap-up, NSRFQRthird arc interviews, #13#14, #15#16, #17#18, #19third arc wrap-up, all of the fourth arc

//TAGS | MGA Study Hall

Matthew Meylikhov

Once upon a time, Matthew Meylikhov became the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Multiversity Comics, where he was known for his beard and fondness for cats. Then he became only one of those things. Now, if you listen really carefully at night, you may still hear from whispers on the wind a faint voice saying, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine is not as bad as everyone says it issss."


  • Morning Glories #49 Cover Annotations
    MGA Study Hall: Issue #49

    By | Dec 30, 2015 | Annotations

    Hello and welcome back to MGA Study Hall, where all things “Morning Glories” are analyzed, dissected and poured over with the hope that we can figure out just what is going on!Today’s issue is issue #49, in which SPOILER ALERT.Join me as I discuss the issue, its story and the possible hidden secrets that I may […]

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    MGA Study Hall: Issue #48

    By | Sep 30, 2015 | Annotations

    Hello and welcome back to MGA Study Hall, where all things Morning Glories are analyzed, dissected and poured over with the hope that we can figure out just what is going on!Today’s issue is issue #48, in which Casey and Isabel finally have their debate.Join me as I discuss the issue, its story and the […]

    MORE »